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New Hampshire rejects gun use in public self-defense, but bill advances in Georgia

[JURIST] The New Hampshire House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday voted down a bill [HB 1354 text] that would have broadened the right to use deadly force in self defense when in public by a margin of 194-138. The State Senate approved a similar proposal, to remove the requirement that a person retreat and refrain from using deadly force when safe to do so, two weeks ago. The Brady Campaign [advocacy website] hailed the House vote and urged state lawmakers to defeat the Senate version [press release] of the "shoot first" legislation. AP has more.

Meanwhile, the Georgia House of Representatives Judiciary Non-Civil Committee [official website] on Tuesday approved similar legislation, the so-called "stand your ground" bill [SB 396 text], which if enacted would authorize citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves in public areas. Supporters of the bill, including State Senator Greg Goggans, sponsor of the legislation, argue that all "law-abiding citizens" should be able to determine for themselves whether to "stand their ground or flee." Opponents to the legislation believe, however, that some would see the new law as giving license to use deadly force when they are not at risk of serious bodily injury or death. The bill, passed by the state Senate [JURIST report] earlier this month, is the latest version of similar legislation that have been pushed in legislatures throughout the country. Last April, the Florida legislature passed a similar measure [JURIST report, bill text] which was signed by Governor Jeb Bush. As was the case with Florida's legislation, the National Rifle Association (NRA) [advocacy website] strongly supports Georgia's bill [NRA action alert]. The full Georgia House may begin debating the bill by the end of the week. AP has more.

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